The percentage of Canadians working from home increased slightly amid a seventh wave of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by Statistics Canada.
In July, the percentage of workers aged 15 to 69 who worked most of their hours at home edged up 0.4 per cent to 24.2 per cent. Alongside short-term shifts in work location, many employers have continued to implement a longer-term transition toward hybrid work arrangements in recent months, with employees working some hours at home and some hours in a location other than home.
The percentage of employees who usually work some hours at home and some hours at another location also increased by 1.2 per cent to slightly more than seven per cent. Overall, the percentage of employees with hybrid work arrangements has more than doubled since January, when 3.3 per cent of employees reported a hybrid arrangement.
With working from home now more common in certain parts of the labour market, some employers and employees may be more able to adapt to changing public health conditions by temporarily increasing the amount of time worked from home, noted the report.
Despite enduring a seventh wave of the virus in July, just 5.5 per cent of employees were absent from work due to illness or disability, which was 0.6 percentage points higher than the July average from 2017 to 2019, but less than the record high of 10 per cent in January 2022 during the pandemic’s fifth wave.
According to the report, employee absences due to illness or disability may be influenced by access to paid sick leave. Six in 10 employees (59.9 per cent) had paid sick leave in 2021 and roughly two-thirds of these workers were employed full-time (67.8 per cent) in permanent roles (64.5 per cent).